Fundraiser for Community Free Clinic a 'souper' event

About 300 attend annual Potter's Bowl

February 26, 2012|By JULIE E. GREENE |
  • Marcia Nissel and Kim O'Kane select bowls donated by area potters to be filled with fancy soups Sunday night at the 20th annual Potters' Bowl fundraiser for the Community Free Clinic in Hagerstown.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — A server scraped the bottom of the large pot of crab soup — the first variety to run out — to dish out one last cup.

Not far behind were the turkey sausage and white bean soup, and the mushroom barley soup.

While most of the diners at the 20th annual Potters Bowl headed to the nonvegetarian soups Sunday, Susan Stull went straight to Manny Shaool, who was once again serving Aushe Reshte, a Persian vegetarian soup.

“I look forward to this every year,” said Stull, 60, of Hagerstown.

The annual fundraiser for the Community Free Clinic was sold out, selling about 276 tickets, said Carrol Lourie, who has served as event co-coordinator for the past four years.

In addition to raising money from tickets, which cost $50 each, the event also has raffles and auctions items such as a queen-sized rhythm-and-blues quilt that Stull created. She has been making quilts for the fundraiser for at least 15 years.

But it’s the soup and the bowls, donated by more than 30 area potters this year, that are the main event at the Potters Bowl. Everyone goes home with a bowl.

This year’s soups included matzo balls with chicken soup, Mulligatawny, Italian beef vegetable soup, spicy squash, creamy split pea, curried red lentil soup, and cream of potato and leek.

Everything at the event was donated, including the soup, bowls, auction items and large room at the Hagerstown Elks Lodge off Robinwood Drive, said Carol Mendelsohn, who has helped organize all of the Potters Bowls.

The Potters Bowl, an interfaith project sponsored by Congregation B’nai Abraham and Trinity Lutheran Church, has raised more than $220,000 for the 249 Mill St. free clinic, said Robin Roberson, the clinic’s executive director.

The clinic, which serves medically uninsured Washington County residents for free, stopped seeing new patients as of Oct. 21 due to funding issues.

Roberson said she is hopeful the clinic will start accepting new patients again in March.

Linda Hood, 64, of Hagerstown, said the free clinic is one of her favorite charities.

Hood’s husband, cardiologist Stephen Hood, used to have an office in the Mill Street building that houses the clinic.

He sold the building to the clinic at a reduced price as a charitable donation, Roberson said.

Not among the diners Sunday was Mary Ann Posch, who was recovering at home from an illness. In recent years, Posch has made the Maryland crab soup from a recipe her sister, Patricia Keckler, got when Keckler was a short-order cook at Park Circle Restaurant in the 1980s, Posch said.

Another popular choice was the turkey sausage and white bean soup that Mendelsohn made from a recipe she got from Diane Paddock.

“I made it the first year and I never stopped,” Mendelsohn said.

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